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Nintendo Finds New Market To Bother With DMCAs: Sheet Music

by California Digital News

Mario dances with Pauline.

Image: Nintendo

Nintendo’s reputation for taking down anyone it deems is using its intellectual property in a way it doesn’t like is pretty well documented. Some of these incidents make some sense, such as going after ROMs and other things that could, hypothetically, cut into sales of games and consoles. However, now the Mario company has found a new target: musicians who create sheet music based on its games’ soundtracks.

As reported by NintendoLife, two YouTube channels that have created sheet music versions of Nintendo tracks, Sheet Music Boss and purpleschala, have recently informed their respective communities that Nintendo has begun targeting sheet music sites like Musicnotes and taking down music for games like Pokémon, Mario, and The Legend of Zelda. Purpleschala says that Musicnotes is “actively” trying to get this decision reversed. Sheet Music Boss says their arrangements had been “correctly licensed” and that the original artists were receiving royalties for sheet music sales.

“We’re working on it, but it’s super frustrating,” Sheet Music Boss wrote. “Especially given that so many Nintendo pieces aren’t available ANYWHERE as sheets. Sorry to everyone affected and please know it’s totally out of our control!”

Officially licensed video game sheet music is often hard to come by, so it’s no surprise that dedicated fans have taken it upon themselves to try and fill that gap so that other musicians can learn and perform songs from their favorite Nintendo games. It is surprising, however, that Nintendo is only just now cracking down on these arrangements after they were apparently hosted on Musicnotes for several years. Purpleschala had arrangements of songs like “The Edge of Dawn” and “Fodlan Winds” from Fire Emblem: Three Houses on the site for five years before Nintendo came knocking. We’ve reached out to Nintendo and Musicnotes for comment on the situation and will update the story if we hear back.

At the very least, both channels still have their Musicnotes accounts with most of their work still intact. Purpleschala primarily arranges songs for piano, while Sheet Music Boss has arrangements for piano, string, and wind instruments.

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